North Carolina Hyperbarics treats a variety of medical indications approved and mandated by Medicare guidelines. These guidelines have been studied and proven to show the most beneficial outcome for patients with the referenced diagnosis below. With each diagnosis the protocol and length of treatment will differ. Each protocol will be set forth by the rendering/treating physician.
ROUTINE COVERED INDICATIONS
Portions of content in the following descriptions are provided courtesy of the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) with their permission, and are copyright protected. For a complete description of indications, as they appear on the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society website, please visit www.uhms.org.
Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds
Ulcers or wounds that do not have enough blood flow to heal spontaneously. Wound healing requires adequate oxygen delivery to the tissues. If there is a blockage in blood flow (arterial disease, diabetes etc..), hyperbaric oxygen can help restore enough oxygen to the tissues to allow healing to occur.
Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
Side effects of radiation therapy 6 or more months after radiation was given. These tend to worsen over time due to damage to blood vessels within the tissues that received radiation. These are divided into osteoradionecrosis (bone injury) and soft tissue radionecrosis(muscle, skin, or internal organs). Hyperbaric therapy promotes the development of new small blood vessels in the radiation damaged tissues (angiogenesis) to allow those tissues to heal.
Bone infection present that has not healed following 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen helps deliver antibiotics, helps kill bacteria, and reduces swelling in the tissues and acts as an adjunct to antibiotics and surgical debridement.
Skin Grafts & Flaps (Compromised)
When skin or a flap(deeper tissues) are moved to cover a tissue defect they may not have enough oxygen delivery and the flap/graft is at risk of “failing”. Hyperbaric oxygen can provide the oxygen necessary to keep the tissues alive and prevent the graft/flap from failing.
Clostridal Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
Gas gangrene, clostridial myonecrosis, “flesh eating bacteria”. These infections are typically diagnosed by your doctor and can be limb and/or life threatening.
Air or Gas Embolism
gas bubble(s) in the circulation. The use of oxygen under pressure will shrink the bubble(s) and allow blood to flow freely in the artery/capillary.
Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome, and
other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
injury to tissues from falls, gun shots, or car accidents etc… where tissues have inadequate supply of blood as a result. HBO decreases swelling in the tissues and delivers enough oxygen to repair the injury.
Release of gas into the tissues or blood stream typically following scuba diving or loss of cabin pressurization during flight.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Colorless odorless gas formed during incomplete combustion. Typically found in automobile exhaust, malfunctioning home heaters, or structure fires. This is usually diagnosed in the Emergency Department.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Complicated by Cyanide Poisoning
Cyanide poisoning occurs when cyanide, commonly present in smoke from fires and in industrial chemicals, is ingested or inhaled. Frequently, victims of smoke inhalation develop carbon monoxide
hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to limit progression of burns, decrease swelling, shorten hospitalization, and reduce overall cost.
Exceptional Blood Loss (Severe Anemia)
For patients with severe anemia that cannot receive blood for medical or religious reasons, hyperbaric oxygen can help deliver enough oxygen to the tissues while the person is recovering from the anemia.